How She Made Friends

Caroline Cloninger is a student at Berea College and is an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in London, England.

If you’d asked her how to make friends, she’d pause for a moment, tell you she didn’t know, then spend the next few weeks in an existential dread wondering how she made friends and if she actually had any.  For her, it was a perfectly natural expectation to spend her term abroad wandering around London mews by herself, looking for cats.

“Oh, hi!  I’m your flat rep, I’m so glad you’re here!  Let me know if you need anything at all!”

Well, okay, she thought, closing her door in the face of the enthusiastic Grecian girl with auburn hair that coiled like Medusa in a dance classThere’s one person who already hates me.  But she found herself going to fresher’s events with her flat rep anyway (who had no reason to hate her).  Then she found herself talking to her flat rep in the kitchen in the middle of the night, both of them open about trauma they’d dealt with.  She had a friend.

“Hi, are you going to the event?” a dark haired, dark clothed girl popped up from the benches and started walking with her.  She almost forgot she was with her flat rep as she learned that this person was studying psychology and criminology and they eagerly and aggressively discussed the patriarchy while ignoring that guy who kept hovering at their shoulders.  Somehow, she had another friend.

“Hi, yeah, I’m just here cause she’s here,” a girl with a soft face crowned by thick, brown hair indicated their mutual friend who was probably fiddling with something in her pocket.  In a small room full of people neither of them knew, she and this new girl learned that they both kinda hated being there.  So they left and chatted about murder, the pressure of being social, and how maybe at some point they should actually go to the night’s event.  They added each other on Snapchat, which is how you know friendship’s real.

Forcing herself to go to a society meeting with her Mia Wallace haired friend, she found herself drinking tea on the floor of a friend of her friend’s from school.  This new person had funko pop figures from different fandoms, but the important ones were from Harry Potter.  She debated with them the merit of Katniss Everdeen as a person, explained the delicious joy of bubble tea, and cheered for them when they were sorted into Slytherin by the university’s Hogwarts society, even though Hufflepuff is best.  A new, Slytherin friend.

As she sprawled over three of her four friends while they watched Netflix, she realized she still didn’t know how to make friends, but she didn’t need to.  Sometimes good people find you and make you their friend and there’s nothing you can do about it even if you wanted to.



Your Discovery. Our People… The World Awaits.

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